Tag Archives: development


StackOverFlow win!

Yay! I made two achievements on StackOverflow.com with my first two answers there. One, I earned a “Teacher” badge for Active site similar to CSS Zen Garden? And two, I unlocked a few privileges that come with earning points there.

By earning a reputation of 21, I can now participate in meta, got new user restrictions removed (can post images, post more than one hyperlink in a question or answer, post any hyperlinks in my profile, contribute answers to protected questions, ask or answer questions too rapidly), create wiki posts, vote up (this is the privilege for which I actually started answering in the hope to earn enough reputation to vote the good answers up), flag posts, and talk in chat.

So, now that I have started to rock the StackOverflow’s Q&A space for programmers (w00t), you can keep a tab on me there through my StackOverflow profile.

[Me happy at 4:30 am Pakistan time. w00t!]

Firefox is Slow? Check the add-ons you have installed!

Firefox is slow. In fact, it gets very slow the longer it is kept running. If you are web developer like me, who relies on Firefox for better productivity through its excellent add-ons, such as Firebug, then you must be feeling frustrated with the slow (sometimes extremely slow) performance of Firefox 4 (and/or previous versions as well). Browser speed is of course relative: I am comparing Firefox to Chrome in this case.

Turns out that Firefox is not the only one to blame; there are a host of add-ons that render Firefox to a sluggish speed, both at boot and operating times.

Continue reading

How to Debug PHP Applications with NetBeans IDE and Xdebug on Windows?

NetBeans logo After having tried many IDEs for PHP development, including Eclipse and Komodo Edit, I have found myself the most comfortable and productive with the excellent NetBeans IDE.

You can start building PHP applications with NetBeans right out-of-the-box by simply downloading NetBeans for PHP (version 6.8 is the latest as of this post). Debugging with it requires an additional download of Xdebug.

Here is a quick and step-by-step guide to quickly start developing and debugging your PHP application projects with NetBeans + Xdebug:

1. Download and install NetBeans IDE for PHP.

2. Download Xdebug (it’s a small DLL library file).

Advice: Among the plethora of download links available on that page, let me tell you that you generally wouldn’t want the ‘non-thread-safe’ version, so ignore that; go for the latest non-beta version. I downloaded 5.2 VC6 (32 bit) of Xdebug 2.0.5.

3. Next you need to make changes to php.ini found in apache\\bin folder (the location of your apache folder may vary depending on your installation, look for it).

Find “[Zend]” section in your php.ini file, which should look like the following:

   1: [Zend]

   2: zend_extension_ts = "E:\\Servers\\xampp\\php\\zendOptimizer\\lib\\ZendExtensionManager.dll"

   3: zend_extension_manager.optimizer_ts = "E:\\Servers\\xampp\\php\\zendOptimizer\\lib\\Optimizer"

   4: zend_optimizer.enable_loader = 0

   5: zend_optimizer.optimization_level=15

   6: ;zend_optimizer.license_path =

   7: ; Local Variables:

   8: ; tab-width: 4

   9: ; End:


Xdebug is not compatible with Zend Optimizer, so comment out lines 2 to 5 (by prefixing the line with a semi-colon), and add the following lines under [Zend] section heading:

   1: [Zend]

   2: zend_extension_ts="E:\\Servers\\php_xdebug\\php_xdebug-2.0.5-5.2.dll"

   3: xdebug.remote_enable=on

   4: xdebug.remote_handler=dbgp

   5: xdebug.remote_host=

   6: xdebug.remote_port=9000


Note: Remember to change the path and filename to match your Xdebug path and version.

4. Restart Apache (if using XAMPP: Open the XAMPP Control Panel and first stop, then start Apache).

5. To verify if Xdebug is configured properly for debugging, create a php file containing this one line:

   1: <?php echo phpinfo() ?>

Save it in your htdocs folder [phpinfo.php], and open it in your browser [http://localhost/phpinfo.php]. If Xdebug is loaded successfully, you should see something like this:

Xdebug info with phpinfo()

That is it! Now you are ready to debug your applications with Xdebug using NetBeans IDE. Simply open your PHP project in NetBeans and press Ctrl + F5 or click Debug project button in NetBeans in the toolbar.

A detailed guide on configuring Xdebug with NetBeans can be found on this wiki: http://wiki.netbeans.org/HowToConfigureXDebug.

Happy coding! :)